This Crow will ruffle a few feathers.
When Stacey Fortune is diagnosed with three highly unpredictable — and inoperable — brain tumours, she abandons the crumbling glamour of her life in Toronto for her mother Effie's scruffy trailer in rural Cape Breton. Back home, she's known as Crow, and everybody suspects that her family is cursed.
With her future all but sealed, Crow decides to go down in a blaze of unforgettable glory by writing a memoir that will raise eyebrows and drop jaws. She'll dig up "the dirt" on her family tree, including the supposed curse, and uncover the truth about her mysterious father, who disappeared a month before she was born.
But first, Crow must contend with an eclectic assortment of characters, including her gossipy Aunt Peggy, hedonistic party-pal Char, homebound best friend Allie, and high-school flame Willy. She'll also have to figure out how to live with her mother and how to muddle through the unsettling visual disturbances that are becoming more and more vivid each day.
Witty, energetic, and crackling with sharp Cape Breton humour, Crow is a story of big twists, big personalities, big drama, and even bigger heart.
"Spurway's use of language is skilful, making the novel highly readable. Crow is ribald, blunt, accessible, and immediately likeable, tumours and all . . . You know how people say, "You'll laugh, you'll cry"? You will. And you will."
"Crow delighted me and amazed me the further I read, with its freshness, its daring, its refusal to conform (and the projectile vomiting)."
"Angry, petty, disillusioned, sharp-tongued, battered and bruised by the years, prone to snap decisions and judgments, and yet not a little scared of dying at 40, she's a complex and contradictory figure whose narrating tones relay very human traits — fallibility and indomitability, blindness and insight — via homespun, salty language."
"How can you resolve the sharpness of tragedy into a fairy-tale ending? Somehow, Spurway manages it. But even if she lays the sentimentality on pretty thick, she also proves even a Crow's laughter can be pretty infectious."